Pickleball was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum as a family game. The game was initially set up in their backyard badminton court; however, the group lacked any badminton equipment, playing instead with ping-pong paddles and a plastic ball. Following this first game, Prichard, Bell, and McCallum would together adapt the smaller dimensions of the badminton court and come up with the rules for pickleball. Today, the pickleball court provides a manageable space to set up courts indoors and out; what’s more, larger-sized courts can be utilized for the purposes of pickleball.
The dimensions of a pickleball court are mindfully designed to strike a balance between skillful gameplay and player engagement. The standard court measures 20 feet wide and 44 feet long. This standard size allows for some fast-paced gameplay in the most intense of pickleball matches; pickleball itself is a dynamic game, requiring quick reflexes, agility, and strategy. The pickleball court size makes the dynamic of the game easily recognizable and replicable for even the newest players.
Recognizing the family-centered origins of pickleball, the smaller dimensions of pickleball courts easily reduce physical demands. With less area to cover, players can engage in the game without placing excess strain on their bodies; opening the game up to players of a range of fitness levels and age. The close proximity created by the courts can also easily foster social interaction during the game, making communication and camaraderie more readily accessible.
How to Set Up a Pickleball Court
Pickleball Court Materials
- Find a suitable area that meets the recommended dimensions for a pickleball court. Official pickleball court dimensions are 20 feet wide and 44 feet long. However, if you have limited space, you can adapt the dimensions accordingly.
- Wondering how to make a pickleball court? You will need tape or paint to mark the boundaries of the court. Use a measuring tape and chalk or painter's tape to mark the lines accurately. The court should have
- Baseline: The back boundary line of the court.
- Sidelines: The side boundary lines of the court.
- Centerline: A line dividing the court in half.
- Non-volley zone (or kitchen): A 7-foot area on each side of the net, starting from the net. The net will sit in the middle, with a 7-foot area on both sides.
- Obtain a pickleball net and posts. The net should be 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches high at the center. The posts should be sturdy and properly anchored to ensure stability.
Pickleball Court Setup
- Measure and mark the dimensions of the court using chalk or painter's tape. Ensure the measurements are accurate and the lines are straight.
- Set up the net and posts at the center of the court. The net should be pulled taut and at the correct height.
- Double-check the court dimensions and lines to ensure they are correct and clearly visible.
*Optionally, you can add additional markings for the non-volley zone (kitchen). Measure 7 feet from the net on both sides and mark the boundary with tape or paint.
--By Eric Zhuo